- Honoring a True Patriot
- Federalism: Preserving the Blessings of Freedom and Prosperity
- Regaining Our Flag’s Respect
- Just In: AZ Senate is calling for a Convention of States
Honoring a True Patriot –
In this edition of the Article V newsletter we are honoring the founding editor of the newsletter, Mr. Stu MacPhail, who has just retired.
His example of selfless service to others is an inspiration to all and should spur us on to greater dedication to the principles of good governance.
In 2012, Stu and I started our work on Article V issues, forming the State Legislators’ Article V Caucus about six months later. He took on the task of producing the newsletter, which has become a key part of our work to remind state legislators that they hold the Constitutional authority to rein in our out-of-control Federal government.
Back in 2012, when we were first making introductions to each other, we discovered we had attended the same college 40+ years ago and studied under the same political science professor, but during slightly different years.
Stu has been the constant, driving force behind all of our Article V work for these many years. I admire his patience, persistence and attention to details, all needed to keep this publication accurate, relevant and effective. I trust that my effort in editing the next few issues will in some small way reflect the excellence that Stu always produced.
-Kevin Lundberg, temporary Editor
Stu MacPhail is a loyal American advocating for a state-initiated effort to propose amendments to the US Constitution. Restoring federalism to the states has been a lifelong passion of Stu’s. As a citizen member and longtime editor of the caucus newsletter, Stu kept all of us informed of the state by state, organization by organization activity of The National Article V Movement.
Stu was committed to researching and uncovering national news and information that allowed states to effectively advance an Article V Application to address issues of national concern. He is an ardent supporter of states meeting in convention and clearly communicated to the legislators the process and the constitutional authority vested in the states. The States Legislators’ Article V Caucus will miss his hand on the ruder of federalism and Article V activity from the front line of Caucus news.
-Sen. Neal Schurer, retired Iowa State Senator
Stuart MacPhail is closing the book on a long and distinguished career as an entrepreneur, businessman, and an activist patriot.
I met Stu MacPhail through the folks who came to Arizona for the Phoenix BBA Planning Convention in 2017. Several of us had volunteered to help and they put us at a reception for the opening dinner. Stu and I became friends and when I asked him if he knew a good editor for my book, he said yes. He then volunteered to edit the Article V book and was a God send.
I learned a good lesson about marketing a book and Stu was there to help cushion the disappointment that my door had not been trampled down. Stu authored an Article V book for young folks and his door is still on its hinges too.
I asked Stu if he would share some of his background with me and I specifically asked if he was related to the Gordon & MacPhail Single Malt Scotch Whiskey family. If so, did he smoke a good cigar with a good single malt? Here is his reply.
“Yes… I am a Scotsman, but I don’t think any of my known relatives produce Single Malt Scotch Whiskey. There is another brew simply known as MacPhail Whiskey (I have an unopened bottle of that in my liquor cabinet), but, again, not produced by any known family member.
“My dad was born on the Isle of Lewis, a small island off the northern tip of Scotland, in the Black Sea. He was of very poor origins, having been born in a never-finished sod (peat) house (partly below ground level). His mother was his father’s second wife (the first having died), and he had brothers and sisters from both mothers. My dad never went to high school. At age 15, he lied about his age and joined the British army under the Black Watch regiment and fought in the First World War. Yes, he wore a kilt into battle. The Germans called his regiment “The Ladies from Hell.”
“After the war he made his way to Duluth, Minnesota (by way of Canada where he had a married brother). In Duluth he met my mother who was born there of parents who had also migrated from the Isle of Lewis. They were of the MacIver clan. Interestingly, President Trump has a grandmother with the clan name MacIver who also live on the tiny Isle of Lewis. That might make The Donald a very distant relative.
“Since I had parents of clearly Scottish origins, I always thought I was a “pure-bred” Scotsman. Then I visited the Isle of Lewis and other parts of Scotland only to learn that the Vikings had often invaded those lands and intermixed with the “natives.” So… it is doubtful that anyone from Scotland is truly “pure-bred” Scottish.
“Back to the liquor… my wife and I opened, owned and operated a small (but very successful) liquor store for 19 years in central Denver. Strangely, with all that liquor around me, I never developed a taste for Scotch Whiskey. I do love Drambuie, a derivative of Scotch Whiskey, and I enjoy a “Whiskey and 7” when prepared with Windsor Canadian Whiskey (but no cigars).
“About my editorial history…
“Over the years I attended five different colleges (while raising my own family) and eventually earned my BA degree and about half the credits toward a Masters in Urban Development, I never took any training in journalism or writing. At age 25, I went to work selling advertising for an AM-FM radio station in Seattle. At age 27, I was hired to manage a radio station in Minot, North Dakota. Two years later, my employer moved me and my family to Denver where I was to have been Asst. Mgr. for a station here. The company got into legal troubles and went out of business before that ever happened.
“Over the following years I became the Public Relations Director for Rockmont College (now Colorado Christian University), was managing editor for a national magazine for the cable television industry, managed a marketing office for another national multiple magazine publisher, and worked for a public relations firm. I finally decided I had had enough of working for others.
“In 1975 I founded, edited and published a community newspaper serving the neighborhoods of central Denver (LIFE on Capitol Hill). After 19 years, I sold it. It is still in operation… now under its 4th publisher. That gave me lots of editing experience. While pursuing my other business interests (the newspaper, the liquor store, a real estate brokerage and a variety of motor vehicle dealership interests, I found myself helping others edit books they had written (including yours, a book on investing, and one that I wrote about the history of a citizen effort to save land for a large Denver area park). I retired at age 62 (20 years ago).
“It was because of my communications background that I got together with Colorado Senator Kevin Lundberg in 2012 to try to aide him in furthering the cause of Article V. That’s when he formed the State Legislators’ Article V Caucus. Now, after 8 years and 101 editions of the Caucus newsletter, my declining vision and other health issues have required that I step away from that project.
“This is probably more info than you want about me… but you asked. Stay well.
“Your friend, Stu”
Stu is truly knowledgeable on the Constitution and particularly on Article V history and the process. He is also a terrific editor. He has been an important resource for all of us and we’ll miss him in the coming battles.
With our prayers, Stu, Godspeed.
Federalism: Preserving the Blessings of Freedom and Prosperity
by Kevin Lundberg
Recently, our nation has been challenged with several issues that have rocked the foundations of our culture.
The pandemic, cancel culture and election uncertainties have tested our nation’s ability to negotiate through these troubling times. While the future continues to be murky, our nation has demonstrated a resiliency against these threats to our freedoms which can only be understood through the system of government we call federalism.
Federalism is that balance of power between the Federal Government and the 50 individual, sovereign states. This division of authority, defined and established in the U.S. Constitution, not only buffers us from any rash actions by the Federal Government, it also provides a competitive environment for testing the effectiveness of policies put in place by each state. It is not perfect, but it is a lot better than any other form of government that exclusively rules from a capital city.
The policies that came out of the pandemic are the first and best examples today of federalism in action. While some states, such as New York and California were all-in for strict lockdowns and significant manipulation of their economies, other states took a much more tempered approach. Now, it is clear which policy worked best; many citizens are literally voting with their feet as they move away from the heavy-handed control states to the states that showed a greater respect for individual freedom and liberty.
It is also instructive to note that the measurable difference in the impact on the health of individuals caused by the pandemic, when comparing the control states and the freedom states was minimal. In fact, it can be argued that freedom was safer, as the unintended consequences of depression and suicide were remarkably less in the freedom states.
This is the genius of federalism. Limiting and dividing government power is good for everyone. Consolidating power to one central authority is not only a path to serfdom, it also limits the prosperity and the well being of average citizens.
The cancel culture, driven by a rush to accept critical race theory (CRT), is another arena where federalism holds our nation back from the brink of an irrational abyss. Florida’s Governor Desantis led the way in declaring CRT will not be a part of Florida schools. It will take more than a statement from the governor, but his state and some other states have taken up this cause. CRT will not be jammed down every American’s throat because of a decision from any administration in Washington. Again, federalism trumps the central planners (some pun intended).
The other current example of federalism at work, or not, is election reform. Congress was considering a wholesale takeover of election policies and procedures with HR1, which ultimately failed in the Senate, but now they are rolling out another iteration with the John Lewis Voting Rights Act. This legislation flies in the face of a true respect for the division of governmental powers that embodies federalism.
As a refreshing contrast to this heavy-handed power grab by Congress, individual states are investigating election irregularities in the 2020 election on their own and working to develop policies for more secure and reliable elections in their particular state. Through our 50 laboratories for liberty we can and will find the best way to conduct future elections. This, too, is federalism in action.
Federalism is not an archaic term, buried in the theoretical concepts of a forgotten political science textbook. It is the vital essence of our nation’s system of government. For our nation to thrive, federalism must be understood and nurtured. We must be constantly vigilant in keeping the flame of federalism alive.
Our founders knew this balance was critical for future generations. That is why the principles of federalism are found throughout the Constitution. In Article I, Section 3 each state is given equal representation in the Senate. In Section 8, Congress, and therefore all of the Federal Government, is only granted enumerated powers. Article II, Section 1 gives the state legislatures exclusive power for the manner of choosing electors to the Electoral College and if there is not a majority vote in the Electoral College (as modified by the Twelfth Amendment), each state is given an equal vote in the House of Representatives for choosing the President.
In Article V, the states are given original authority for proposing and ratifying amendments. All states have equal voting power for calling for a convention to propose amendments and ratifying any proposed amendments. Article VII follows that same pattern, giving each state equal voting authority to ratify the original constitution. Finally, the Ninth and Tenth Amendments make it perfectly clear that the Federal Government has no power or authority other than what is specifically enumerated in the U.S. Constitution.
In addition to the government’s authority being divided between the three branches of government, the division of power between the states and the central government is intended to limit the reach of government and maximize the freedoms of individual citizens.
This is federalism.
The blessings of freedom and prosperity are much more possible because of the principles found in federalism. Despite all of the problems facing our nation, federalism is an essential defense for our liberties.
Regaining Our Flag’s Respect
We can restore our Flag’s greatness and it is through the Constitution’s Article V, second clause.
By Mike Kapic
June 14th, every year, is Flag Day. It’s a day to honor our country’s symbol of who we are; a nation of immigrants who hold steadfast to beliefs in our Creator, liberty, Judeo-Christian values, firearms, and family; to our Declaration of Independence, Constitution, Bill of Rights, and the foundational values and virtues that have inspired most of us to solute and honor the Flag of our exceptional Nation.
But lately we’ve lost our way. Reverence to our beautiful Flag has been traded in for the new religion of the Progressive Left. Our nation’s once strong foundation has suffered horrific cracks and fissures. This infection has been growing since the early 1900’s and has been spreading so slowly that we hadn’t noticed it. It has been eating away at our liberties and freedoms while changing our Constitutional government into something that is not recognizable anymore.
The three branches designed by our Founders have become infected with a systemic cancer that has metastasized over the last century into the Fourth Branch—the bureaucracy. There has been a shift in power from Congress to the Supreme Court and the purely political structure of the Executive Branch.
This government was intended to come into being with the understanding that “We the People” would surrender a small amount of our power and authority to the Congress first, the Executive second, with the Supreme Court as the arbitrator.
All that has changed with the corruption of our basic institutions: the breakdown of the family; of education; the Constitution (we have two versions now—the Founders and the Supreme Court’s interpretation); the growth of crony-capitalism; broken healthcare and entitlement programs (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid); unbridled spending, taxation and regulations; politization of the judicial system; sanctity of life and marriage; and the loss of federalism (states have become agencies of the national government).
So, how do we restore our Nation to the creators values and virtues and secure them for the next 200-300 years?
There are three possible ways allowed by the Founding documents for “We the People” to take back control and return this Nation to God and to the consent of the governed:
1. By voting. The original design only allowed for 15% democracy and 85% republicanism. That changed to 33% democracy versus 67% in 1913 with the 17th Amendment. Democracy frightened the Founders as they were historically short lived and died violently as it ONLY defines voting, allowing the majority to decide over the minority. Republicanism, however, gives sovereignty to ALL individuals and an equal voice as a minority in democratic voting.
2. The Declaration of Independence declares, “That whenever any form of government becomes destructive…it is the right of the People to alter or to abolish it…it is their right, it is their duty to throw off such government and to provide new guards for their future security.” This is a legal solution that requires a commitment at the level of the Revolutionary or Civil Wars.
3. The Constitution’s Article V describes how to alter the document that controls the basic design of our government. This is the process of meeting in convention to resolve problems that cannot be solved by state or national legislatures and was used to design our government and the method of altering it by the people and their states. It has a 400-year history of success.
You’re probably asking yourself, “Why haven’t we used number three before? As a member of “We the People”, what can I do? After all, I own the United States of America…We’ve paid enough in precious treasure and mismanaged its growing debt.”
The Founders recognized that God blessed each of us with natural talents, skills, and a free will to choose “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” It is our choice. America belongs to each of us, not the government that we hire to serve us. If you care about your posterity, we have a responsibility and a duty to return America to the Founders original design.
The solution lies in “We the People” joining together in a neo-Founders form to encourage our states to use their federalism power to restore our Constitution through a safe and legal method: Article V’s second clause. It is time to turn the elite Progressives out of Washington DC.
If we don’t do it now, then when? The longer we wait, the greater our debt expands, and DC’s corruption continues to damage our children. Join grassroots efforts such as AMAC Action Chapters across the country to make this fight a successful endeavor.
Help us return respect to our proud Flag, Old Glory, the Stars and Stripes. Stand Up, Show Up, and Speak Up!
Just In: AZ Senate calling for a Convention of States
As we were wrapping up this edition of the newsletter we learned that the Arizona senate passed a proclamation calling for all states to convene, not for an Article V convention, but for a convention to develop a strategy to fully embrace federalism (see the above article on federalism).
Over the past several weeks the State Legislators Article V Caucus has been working with Arizona State Senator Kelly Townsend to have Arizona call for a Convention of States to deal with executive government overreach and reaffirm state legislative authority operate their own elections. This is federalism in operation. Sadly the Arizona House did not concur with the Senate on SCR 1010. The best she could accomplish was the proclamation from the senate.
The purpose of this Convention as proposed in SCR 1010 was to:
1. Discuss the actions of the federal government, federal agencies and federal officers that impair, or threaten to impair, the constitutional and traditional rights of American citizens and recommending corrective actions to state governments or to the federal government, federal agencies and federal officers.
2. Discuss issues regarding the right of the people to self-government and the right to elect representatives through election processes that are secure and transparent.
States meeting in convention to address national issues is a time tested and honored procedure that has been successfully applied to national unity.
Arizona may still be the state to host such a convention, but for this year it will take another state to actually pass an official call for all of the states to convene.
Stay tuned. Our national political fortunes are in the hands of our capable state legislators. We will report on all efforts that cross our desk.